Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 30, 2008

Gospel of the day:

Mark 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Reflection on the gospel of the day: As we start Advent we remember that we live in the in between time: the already but not yet. Jesus has come to fulfill the expectations of his people, but we are still an expectant people that waits and watches for the coming of the Lord.

Spiritual reading of the day: It is no use saying that we are born two thousand years too late to give room to Christ. Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. Yet now it is with the voice of our contemporaries that he speaks, with the eyes of store clerks, factory workers, and children that he gazes; with the hands of office workers, slum dwellers, and suburban housewives that he gives. It is with the feet of soldiers and tramps that he walks, and with the heart of anyone in need that he longs for shelter. And giving shelter or food to anyone who asks for it, or needs it, is giving it to Christ. (Dorothy Day)

December Calendar Terrytown and Brooklyn

Posted in Uncategorized by cacina on November 30, 2008

We would like to share with our CACINA community all our upcoming events for the month of December. If you are in the area we would love to fellowship with you.
November 30 –1st Sun. of Advent –Info. Meeting focused on
Advent and new liturgical year & Bible Study
December 2— Bible Study (will continue each Tuesday 7:30-9pm)
December 3— Eucharist 12 noon Wednesday and every Wednesday during
December 5 – Friday ~ Spiritual Retreat Discovering the Voice of God Within 7-9pm, part one
December 6- Saturday 10am to 1pm, Spiritual retreat, part
December 7— Bible Study after Sunday Eucharist
December 10– Eucharist 12 noon Wednesday
December 12– Friday night Advent for Children & Families, fun
& activities 7-9pm please plan to attend.
December 14—Bible Study after Sunday Eucharist
December 17– Eucharist 12pm Wednesday
December 19- Friday night Advent for Children & Families,fun & activities 7-9pm please plan to attend.
December 21—Christmas Decoration Party
December 24—Christmas Eucharist @ 4:00pm Brooklyn
December 25—Christmas Eucharist @ 10:30am Tarrytown

Please plan to attend all or part of the CACINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Those of us who have attended found it an uplifting experience.
Peace and prayers
The Church For All People Community

Sisters and brothers

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 23, 2008

I greet you today with great joy and gratitude. Today is the 50th anniversary of my birth, and it is the fifth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in CACINA. I just came from Holy Trinity where I concelebrated Eucharist with Bishop Tony, who ordained me to the priesthood on November 22, 2003. November 23, that year like this year, was the Feast of Christ the King and the day I first presided at Eucharist. Praised be Jesus Christ!

I have had a meltdown of my computer, and until it’s repaired, my ability to post is hobbled a bit, and then I am going out of town for Thanksgiving and won’t be back home in DC until Saturday, so pardons, please, but I am going to take bit of a rest from, “Carry the Gospel with you,” until I come back.

But until then, peace and peace again. Be full of thanksgiving, for even in hard times, we know the Lord loves us, for we are told that the Lord chastises those whom he loves.

From Saint Pauls Parish in Spring Hill Florida

Posted in Uncategorized by cacina on November 20, 2008

Great news! It is always good to hear these things. Larry, thank you and I thank Ellen for being a part of this. We at St. Paul’s in Spring Hill have been together as a community for about 11 years. We have had many changes ovr the years and we continue to evolve. Oops, that darn science.
We had our 5th annual open house this week. With thanks to God, it was an outstanding success. (Considering last year we had it by ourselves because no one showed up!) We had a large crowd, good fun and hopefully a few new members. It was a great afternoon. We rented one of those “bouncy castles”, the inflatable things the kids get in. You have no idea how popular these things are. I have an Episcopal priest friend whose church actually bought one for their outside functions. It really brings in the younger crowd and no offense but God knows we need them.
I just want to take a moment and thank all of you. I am sorry we are so far apart (LARRY!) but it is with great humility I approach the altar on Sunday and know that I am in your prayers as you are in mine.

God’s grace on you and yours, Jim

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 20, 2008

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Luke alone among the evangelists reports that Jesus cries as he enters Jerusalem and foretells its destruction. It is one of those passages in the gospels that shows us the ability of Jesus to enter into the suffering of other human beings. Compassion comes from two Latin words that literally means, “suffering with.” Jesus is able to see that the blindness of people to the path to peace will result in terrible pain. His reaction to the people’s blindness is not to become puffed up with pride that he is not blind like others are: It is to appreciate the obstacles that block people’s progress, to enter into their experience, and to suffer with them for the obstacles they are unable to surmount. It is his example we should follow. We are not better than others when we recognize their blindness and where it is leading. We are the best we can be when we understand what obstacles others face and suffer the pain inherent in those limitations.

Saint of the day: Bernward was of a Saxon family and was raised by his uncle Bishop Volkmar of Utrecht when orphaned as a child. He studied at the cathedral school of Heidelburg and at Mainz, where he was ordained in 987. He became imperial chaplain and tutor to the child Emperor Otto III. He was elected bishop of Hildesheim in 993, built St. Michael’s church and monastery there, and capably administered his See. He was interested in architecture, art, and metal work and created several pieces of metalwork. He was engaged in a dispute for years with Archbishop Willigis of Mainz over episcopal rights to the Gandersheim convent, but eventually Rome ruled in Bernward’s favor. He became a Benedictine in later life and died on November 20, 1022.

Spiritual reading of the day: The good in any prophecy is ultimately shown if it awakens us to the gravity of decision in courageous faith, if it makes clear to us that the world is in a deplorable state (which we never like to admit), if it steels our patience and fortifies our faith that God has already triumphed, if it fills us with confidence in the one Lord of the still secret future, if it brings us to prayer, to conversion of heart, and to faith that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. (Karl Rahner, S.J.)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 19, 2008

Gospel of the day:

Luke 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading.

The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’ Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’ He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’ But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’ He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’”

After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.

Reflection on the gospel: This parable challenges us to be daring with the gifts that God has given us. The third servant buries his talent and has nothing to offer his master except what he had received upon the master’s departure. Because he feared that he would fail, he didn’t even try to succeed. The parable makes clear that Jesus wants us fearlessly to engage our lives with all their uncertainty.

Saint of the day: Raphael Kalinowski was born as Joseph Kalinowski in 1835 in what is now Vilnius, Lithuania. The son of Andrew Kalinowski, a prominent mathematics professor at the College of Nobility, and Josepha Poionska Kalinowski, Joseph studied at his father’s school. Though he felt a call to the priesthood, Joseph decided on college first. He studied zoology, chemistry, agriculture, and apiculture at the Institute of Agronomy in Hory Horki, Russia, and at the Academy of Military Engineering at Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A lieutenant in the Russian Military Engineering Corps in 1857, he planned and supervised the construction of the railway between Kursk and Odessa. He was promoted to captain in 1862 and stationed in Brest-Litovsk. There he started, taught, and bore all the costs of a Sunday school, accepting anyone interested.

In 1863, he supported the Polish insurrection. He resigned from the Russian army and became the rebellion’s minister of war for the Vilna region; he took the commission with the understanding that he would never hand out a death sentence or execute a prisoner. Arrested by Russian authorities in March 1864, he was condemned to death in June 1864 for his part in the revolt, but the authorities feared they would be creating a political martyr and commuted his sentence to ten years forced labor in the Siberian salt mines. Part of his sentence was spent in Irkutsk.

Released in 1873, he was exiled from his home region in Lithuania. He moved to Paris, France, and worked as a tutor for three years. In 1877, he finally answered the long-heard call to the religious life, and joined the Carmelite Order at Graz, Austria, taking the name Raphael. He studied theology in Hungary, then joined the Carmelite house at Czama, Poland. He was ordained in January 1882.

He worked to restore the Discalced Carmelites to Poland, and for church unity. He founded a convent at Wadowice, Poland in about1889. He worked with Blessed Alphonsus Mary Marurek. Noted spiritural director of both Catholics and Orthodox. An enthusiastic parish priest, he spent countless hours with his parishioners in the confessional. He died November 15, 1907 at Wadowice, Poland of natural causes.

Spiritual reading: There is nothing too small to pray about. “Oh God come to my assistance; O Lord make haste to help me.” Sometimes one is so tired, so dull, so hopeless, that it is a great effort of the will to remember to pray even so short a prayer. “Oh Lord hear my prayer. Let my cry come unto Thee.” (“On Pilgrimage – July/August 1973” by Dorothy Day)

A living church

Posted in church events by Mike on November 18, 2008

I have been remiss. At the last General Assembly, I promised the church that I would publish a newsletter of activities that take place in the church, but I have failed to keep my promise. So without further ado, here is some news from the church.

The Diocese of the Holy Trinity celebrated the ordination of a new priest on June 14. Fr. Ron Stephens celebrated his first Mass at Holy Trinity on June 15. Bishop Tony Santore was the main celebrant at Fr. Ron’s ordination. Bishop Frank Betancourt and Bishop Jim B. assisted. Fr. Peter Smith was the cantor, and Fr. Mike Meyer was the master of ceremonies.

The Diocese of the Holy Trinity had a gathering at Robertson’s Crab House in southern Maryland on the shores of the Potomac River in August. This is the second time that parishioners from Holy Trinity and St. Andrew’s gathered together to celebrate a meal together at the crab house.

Bishop Tony and Fr. Peter concelebrated Eucharist a few weeks ago for a group of families in Baltimore that have asked us to form a parish in Baltimore. Twenty-seven people were in attendance.

St. Andrew the Apostle celebrated its fifth year in existence this last Sunday. Tony Santore was the main celebrant. Concelebrants included Bishop Carl, Bishop Ray, Fr. Peter, and Fr. Mike. Fr. Mike was the homilist. We concluded our celebration with a parish luncheon at Cafe Torino in downtown Warrenton.

Fr. Larry Hansen sends us word from Cana House:

Mary has been elected President of the Guardian and Conservators Association of Oregon. In that capacity, she oversaw a large conference planning and execution process. She also serves as an Associate Member on the Board of Directors for the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. In October, she will travel to Montreal to attend a conference of vowed Religious and Associate Members. These activities present opportunities for her to represent CACINA as well, in that people often ask her about her own spiritual life and membership in church. We believe that, in most cases, people no longer think of us as apostates or heretics. In fact (and as I think we all know) most RC’s think and act like CACINA Catholics anyway.

As referenced above, I’ve had a busy summer with funerals for our Hopewell House patients as well as the wider community. I’ve also had more weddings in the recent past than in any other year since my ordination. These are often great opportunities to present a vision of the Christian life that doesn’t include judgment, condemnation or rejection. As mentioned in an earlier venue, we’ve noticed in the past 8+ years since establishing Cana House that people often use us as a bridge of return to their earlier Christian roots. Of course, that doesn’t translate into a community that gathers each Sunday, but it does establish connections that endure. I get a fair amount of phone calls from people I’ve served for help with spiritual issues as well as more pragmatic ones, such as blessing a civil marriage or presiding at a parent’s or loved one’s funeral.

In the community, I serve as President-Elect on the Board of Directors of Housecall Providers, Inc. (, the largest provider of primary health care to frail and elderly homebound persons in our region. The only limitation we place on admitting people to our program is a demonstrated need for our service. We don’t reject anyone for lack of financial resources. We are currently caring for about 920 people. In addition to our medical mission, our clinicians also initiate what we call “critical conversations” with our patients and their families. These discussions concern what our people desire in terms of radical medical interventions. For example, we will ask an 85-year old patient with congestive heart failure if she or he wants resuscitation if/when the heart stops. As you might imagine, virtually no one wants to end her or his life being pounded on by a burly emergency medical technician. So by serving people with primary medical care in their home surroundings and having these critical conversations, we help them avoid unnecessary ER visits and ICU admissions. This results in a higher level of care and quality of life for our patients (half of whom are over 80 years of age)–not to mention a lifting of the burden on emergency services and hospitals.

Again, as with Mary’s involvement in the community, people have been given a different vision of what it means to be a Catholic Christian in the world today. I don’t know if we will ever have a community like Holy Trinity or the Church for All People. But I do think we serve an important purpose; i.e., showing unaffiliated people that it’s possible to be Catholic and human :>) and giving our Roman Catholic friends a view of Catholicism that reflects the dictum of the late theologian Jaroslav Pelikan: “Tradition is the living face of the dead. Traditionalism (italics mine) is the dead face of the living.”

Ellen Baker from our parish in Tarrytown sent these good words about the good works of the Church of All People:

Our first anniversary celebration was a huge success (July 19) and we had around 10 people come from our Brooklyn community along with 7 from Tarrytown (6 regulars and one regular “drop in”) After Mass at our home we walked a few blocks to Sherry and John’s house for a barbecue. Great fun and I think the highlight of the evening was the look on the faces and the oohs and aahs of the Brooklyn community members when the family of deer (Mom and two Bambis, complete with spotted backs) strolled through the backyard on their nightly constitutional. J Ho-Hum for us in Tarrytown and like a trip to the Bronx Zoo Wild Safari for the Brooklynites!

We have new/old member of our Tarrytown community, John Hayes, who has been a member of Brooklyn CFAP, but lives MUCH closer to Tarrytown. We are very happy to have him with us, especially since he has music ministry experience.

Our latest venture in our Pastor Joe’s quest to keep the community questioning and more aware of our God, is our scripture study/discussion groups which will begin in October and continue on the first Saturday of every month right after Mass. We’re very excited about it especially as we will also have a take out supper along with it (somehow, both our communities, our pastor and our bishop are very food oriented. What is that about?)

That’s it for now, ready for the presses whenever they run.

We pray for our sister parishes in CACINA every day on our prayer line.

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Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 18, 2008

Gospel of the day:

Luke 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

Reflection on the gospel: Jesus evokes a response in the people who meet him. When we encounter the Lord, we want to do better. But our encounter of the Lord is not just a chance meeting; Jesus actively looks for us and seeks us out. Zacchaeus is sign and symbol that we can count on the Lord to come and save us, and if we open our hearts, God will respond lavishly to us.

Saint of the day: Odo was born near Le Mans, France. He was raised in the households of Count Fulk II of Anjou and Duke William of Aquitaine, received the tonsure when he was nineteen, received a canonry at St. Martin’s in Tours, and then spent several years studying at Paris, particularly music, under Remigius of Auxerre. Odo became a monk under Berno at Baume-les-Messieurs near Besancon in 909, was named director of the Baume Monastery school by Berno, who became abbot of the newly founded Cluny, and in 924 was named abbot of Baume. He succeeded Berno as second abbot of Cluny in 927, continued Berno’s work of reforming abbeys from Cluny, and in 931 received authorization to reform the monasteries of northern France and Italy. Odo was called to Rome in 936 to arrange peace between Alberic of Rome and Hugh of Provence, who was besieging the city, and succeeded temporarily by negotiating a marriage between Alberic and Hugh’s daughter; Odo returned to Rome twice in the next six years to reconcile Alberic and Hugh. Odo spread Cluny’s influence to monasteries all over Europe, encountering and overcoming much opposition, and successfully persuaded secular rulers to relinquish control of monasteries they had been illegally controlling. He died at Tours on the way back to Rome on November 18. He wrote hymns, treatises on morality, an epic poem on the Redemption, and a life of St. Gerald of Aurillac.

Spiritual reading of the day: Sin is necessary, but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. (Revelations of Divine Love by Dame Juliana of Norwich)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 17, 2008

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Reflection on the gospel reading: “Son of David” is a messianic title, and the healing of the sick is a messianic activity. Like the people in the gospel, we can give praise to God for the great gift of so great a savior.

Saint of the day: Born in 1576 in Paraguay and one of the Jesuit Martyrs of Paraguay, Roch Gonzalez was a noble and Jesuit priest. One of the architects of the Jesuit Reductions in Paraguay, Roch realized the damage of the slave trade and with his fwllow Jesuits gathered the indigenous Indians and went inland. In Paraguay, beginning in 1609, they built settlements, taught agriculture, architecture, construction, metallurgy, farming, ranching and printing. By the time the Jesuits were expelled in 1767, they had 57 settlements with over 100,000 native residents.

Roch served as doctor, engineer, architect, farmer, and pastor, supervised the construction of churches, schools and homes, and introduced care for cattle and sheep to the natives. He adapted his tactics to the indigenous people’s love of ornament, dancing, and noise. On the great feasts of the Church, Roch solemnly celebrated Mass outside the little thatched church, and then the whole village dressed in their best and celebrated the rest of the day with games, bonfires, religious dances, flute music, and fireworks. Fierce warriors were softened by Roch’s gentle Christianity, put aside their hatred for religion, and embraced the faith. Violent revenge, previously part of the local culture, was abandoned.

This progress received a severe blow by the arrival of slave traders who were able to influence the Spanish crown and get permission for their activity. They lured natives away from the Reductions, betrayed them, and sold them into slavery. Roch became a stanch protector of their freedom, pleading the Indian cause so forcefully with the Spanish Government that the Reduction of Saint Ignatius was finally left in peace.

Because of his success evangelizing the natives, a local witch-doctor who was losing his power base and martyred Roch along with Saint John de Castillo and Saint Alonso Rodriquez. He died in 1628 at Caaro, Brazil just as he finished celebrating Mass.

Spiritual reading of the day: Some people want to see God with their eyes as they see a cow and to love him as they love their cow – they love their cow for the milk and cheese and profit it makes them. This is how it is with people who love God for the sake of outward wealth or inward comfort. They do not rightly love God when they love him for their own advantage. Indeed, I tell you the truth, any object you have on your mind, however good, will be a barrier between you and the inmost truth. (Meister Eckhart)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 16, 2008

Gospel of the day:

Matthew 25:14-15, 19-21

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–to each according to his ability. Then he went away. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.'”

Reflection on the gospel: God gives a charge to each one of the us. That call is unique to our circumstances and situations. As we engage that call in the present, we change the world around us, and as the world around us changes, we receive a new call to redress our circumstances. If we do well, we bring about greater things for the kingdom. This is the meaning of the parable that Jesus teaches us today: that we should be ever mindful of the call we receive and be confident that as we respond creatively to the call, the call will ever deepen in our lives with the potential for ever greater fruit.

Spiritual reading of the day: Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning. (John Henry Newman)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 15, 2008

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus in today’s gospel counsels us to pray always. I do not believe this is an idle teaching. We are to be full of faith that God will save us if we call upon him. The deliverance we seek may not be the deliverance we want, but God will be with us and hold us in God’s hands if we rely upon the Lord. So pray always.

Saint of the day: Albert the Great was the son of a military nobleman. He became a Dominican priest and taught theology at Cologne and Paris. An influential teacher, preacher, administrator, he taught Thomas Aquinas. He became bishop of Regensburg. He introduced Greek and Arabic science and philosophy to medieval Europe. Known for his wide interest in what became known later as the natural sciences, such as botany and biology, he wrote and illustrated guides to his observations, and he was considered on a par with Aristotle as an authority on these matters. A theological writer, he is considered a Doctor of the Church. He was born in 1206 at Lauingen an der Donau, Swabia (now Germany) and died on November 15, 280 at Cologne, Prussia, also in modern Germany.

Spiritual reading of the day: It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for “God is charity.” (Albertus Magnus)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 13, 2008

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

Reflection on the gospel: Jesus in today’s gospel reading suggests that the Kingdom of God represents an elusive reality. It not the establishment of a new worldly organization but an attitude of heart and relationship among peoples.

Saint of the day: Stanislaus Kostka was born in October 1550 to a family of Polish nobility. He was the son of a senator. He attended the Viennese Jesuit college from age 14 with his brother Paul, who badly mistreated him. While staying at the home of a Lutheran, he became gravely ill but was not allowed to call for a priest. He prayed to his patron, Saint Barbara, who appeared to him in a vision with two angels, and administered Communion. He was then cured from his disease by Our Lady who told him to become a Jesuit against his family’s wishes. He attended the Jesuit college in Rome and was a friend of Saint Peter Canisius. He was Jesuit novice from October 28, 1567. A student of Saint Francis Borgia, he died on August 14, 1568 as a novice of the Society of Jesus.

Spiritual reading of the day: I find a heaven in the midst of saucepans and brooms. (Stanislaus Kostka)

A chance to be a little less alone in the world

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 12, 2008

CACINA believes in the right of gay people to follow the best impulses of their God-given sexuality, to enter into permanent and Godly relationships with other persons of their same gender with whom they share a loving and committed partnership. The Presiding Bishop asked me to put this up on the CACINA blog: Keith Olbermann is not a member of CACINA, but he had a special comment the other evening on the outcome of Proposition 8 in California that expresses our church’s sensibility about gay relationships and the right of gay women and men to marry one another:

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Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 12, 2008

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.  As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.  They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”  And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”  As they were going they were cleansed.   And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.   He was a Samaritan.  Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not?  Where are the other nine?  Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”  Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

Reflection on the gospel reading:  Luke’s whole gospel has Jesus on a single continuous journey toward Jerusalem.  While the other gospels tell us that Jesus during his ministry came and went from Jerusalem on various occasions, Luke uses a literary device where Jesus moves just once to Jerusalem, where suffers, dies, and rises from the dead.  Here, Luke makes a pointed reference to the trip and connects it to Jesus’ ministry of healing.  In Luke’s view, Jesus reveals his identity through what he does, that is, to heal.  Moreover, Luke wrote for Greek, not Jewish, Christians, and Luke shows that Jesus’ ministry is for Jews and Gentiles alike.  Indeed, like the Gentile leper who returned to give thanks, it is through their faith that the Gentile Christians are saved.

Saint of the day:  Josphat was born in 1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania (modern Ukraine) and was called at birth, John Kunsevyc   His father was a municipal counselor, and his mother was known for her piety.  Josphat was raised in the Orthodox Ruthenian Church which, on November 23, 1595 in the Union of Brest united with the Church of Rome.  He was trained as a merchant’s apprentice at Vilna and was offered partnership in the business, including a marriage to his partner’s daughter.  Feeling the call to religious life, he declined both.  A monk in the Ukrainian Order of Saint Basil (Basilians) in Vilna at age 20 in 1604, he took the name brother Josaphat. He became a Byzantine rite priest in 1609.

Josaphat’s superior, Samuel, never accepted unity with Rome, and looked for a way to fight against Roman Catholicism and the Uniats, the name given those who brought about and accepted the union of the Churches. Learning of Samiel’s work, and fearing the physical and spiritual damage it could cause, Josaphat brought it to the attention of his superiors. The archbishop of Kiev removed Samuel from his post, replacing him with Josaphat.

A famous preacher, he worked to bring unity among the faithful and encouraged Christians to come back to the Church. Bishop Josaphat believed unity to be in the best interests of the Church, and by teaching, clerical reform, and personal example Josaphat won the greater part of the Orthodox in Lithuania to the union. Never completely suitable to either side, Roman authorities sometimes raised objection to Josaphat’s Orthodox actions. Josaphat became Archbishop of Polotsk, Lithuania in 1617.

While Josaphat attended the Diet of Warsaw in 1620, a dissident group, supported by Cossacks, sat up an anti-Uniat bishop for each Uniat one, spread the accusation that Josaphat had “gone Latin,” and that his followers would be forced to do the same, and placed a usurper on the archbishop’s chair. Despite warnings, Josaphat went to Vitebsk, a hotbed of trouble, to try to correct the misunderstandings, and settle disturbances. The army remained loyal to the king, who remained loyal to the Union, and so the army tried to protect Josaphat and his clergy.

Late in 1623, an anti-Uniat priest named Elias shouted insults at Josaphat from his own courtyard, and tried to force his way into the residence. When he was removed, a mob assembled and forced his release. Mob mentality took over, and they invaded the residence. Josaphat tried to insure the safety of his servants before fleeing himself, but did not get out in time, and was martyred by the mob.  He was struck in the head with a halberd, shot and beaten with staves on November 12, 1623 at Vitebsk, Belarus.  His body thrown into the Dvina River but later was recovered.  His death was a shock to both sides of the dispute, brought some sanity and a cooling off period to both sides of the conflict.  Josphat was buried at Biala, Poland and his body was found incorrupt five years after death.

Spiritual reading of the day:  God also showed that sin would be no shame but an honour to man, for just as for every sin there is an answering pain in reality, so for every sin bliss is given to the same soul. Just as different sins are punished by different pains according to their seriousness, so shall they be rewarded by different joys in heaven according to the pain and sorrow they have caused the soul on earth. For the soul that shall come to heaven is so precious to God, and the place itself so glorious, that the goodness of God never allows the soul which will come there to sin without giving it a reward for suffering that sin. The sin suffered is made known without end, and the soul is blissfully restored by exceeding glories. (Revelation of Divine Love by Dame Juliana of Norwich)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 11, 2008

Today’s gospel reading:

Luke 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles: “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing  or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?  Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat.  Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’?  Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?  So should it be with you.  When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”

Reflection on the gospel reading:  Jesus reminds us in today’s gospel to remain right-sized.  He counsels us not to become puffed-up with self-satisfaction when we do our duty but always be prepared to do more than life requires us to do.

Saint of the day:  Menas Kallikelados may have been a camel driver in civilian life. A soldier in the imperial Roman army, he served under Firmilian during the anti-Christian persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian.  Menas left the army for his own safety, and so he would not in any way support such a regime. He retired for a while as a mountain hermit. During a great pagan festival, Menas came down from the mountains to preach Christianity in Cotyaes, Phrygia. He was tried for his faith before the Roman prefect Pyrrhus, scourged, tortured and martyred.  He was beheaded around 300 at Cotyaes, Phrygia and buried at Mareotis, Egypt.  His grave in Egypt became known as a place of miracles, and a basilica built over his grave became one of the great sanctuaries of Christendom; it was called the glory of the Libyan desert. Merchants traveling through the area spread stories about him, and churches built in his honor at Cotyaeus and Constantinople gave rise to local legends about him. The basilica was destroyed and his tomb lost in the seventh century, and was rediscovered in an archeological expedition in 1905.

Spiritual reading of the day:  It does us no good to make fantastic progress if we do not know how to live with it, if we cannot make good use of it, and if, in fact, our technology becomes nothing more than an expensive and complicated way of cultural disintegration. It is bad form to say such things, to recognize such possibilities. But they are possibilities, and they are not often intelligently taken into account. People get emotional about them from time to time, and then try to sweep them aside into forgetfulness. The fact remains that we have created for ourselves a culture which is not yet livable for mankind as a whole. (Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander by Thomas Merton)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 10, 2008

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.  Be on your guard!  If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’  you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”  The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Reflection on the gospel:  Today’s gospel reading gives us a collection of sayings by Jesus about sin and faith.  Jesus shows himself to be a realist about the human condition, that sin inevitably will occur, but he also teaches us that despite the inevitability of wrong doing, we are not powerless.  We have a responsibility to avoid harming other and particularly those who are the weakest and most dependent.  Jesus calls us to be full of faith and trust that great things will come to pass.

Saint of the day:  Andrew Avellino was born in 1521 at Castronuovo, Sicily as Lorenzo (called Lancelotto by his mother).  He studied humanities and philosophy at Venice and was a doctor of civil and ecclesiastical law. He was ordained at age 26.

A lawyer at the ecclesiastical court at Naples. During a heated courtroom argument on behalf of a friend, he supported his position with a lie; in that setting, he had committed perjury. It shook him so badly, he gave up the legal profession, and settled into a life of penance.  Commissioned by his archbishop to reform the convent of Sant’ Arcangelo at Naples, a house of such lax discipline it had became a topic of gossip in the city. Through good example, constant work, and the backing of his bishop he managed to restore celibate discipline to the house, but was nearly killed for his efforts when he was attacked by people ordered off the premises.  The night of the attack, he was taken to the house of the Theatine Clerks Regular. He was so impressed with them that he joined the order at age 35, taking the name Andrew because that Apostle had been crucified. He served as master of novices for ten years and became superior of the order. He founded Theatine houses in Milan and Piacenza and helped establish others. Eloquent preacher, and popular missioner and spiritual director, he brought  many back to the Church. Writer and extensive correspondent, he was a friend and advisor of Saint Charles Borromeo.

He suffered a stroke while celebrating Mass, and died soon afterwards on November 10, 1608. Legend says that his blood bubbled and liquified after death, which led some to think that his stroke had left him catatonic, and that he was buried alive.  He is buried at the Church of Saint Paul, Naples.

Spiritual reading of the day:  God talks with me and is delighted with me a thousand and one ways; he forgives me and relieves me of the principal bad habits without talking about them; I beg him to make me according to his heart and always the more weak and despicable I see myself to be, the more I am of God.  That is how I look upon myself from time to time in his holy presence. (The Practice of the Presence of God by Br. John Lawrence of the Resurrection.)